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Digital Subscriptions > OM Yoga Magazine > May-18 > THE EIGHTFOLD PATH OF YOGA PART ONE


A modern introduction to the eightfold path of yoga. Part one of three: ethical considerations ‘Yamas’ and personal observations ‘Niyamas’. By Elisabeth Vegter

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are one of the well-known classics of yoga. The Sutras contain short pieces of text, describing a rather practical way of achieving enlightenment via the eightfold path of yoga. Although the text was composed some 2,000 years ago, its method still contains valuable and relevant advice to bring peace and liberation to the modern world. The eight elements of this path could be visualised as the limbs of a tree. All the limbs of this tree of life are equally important and should all be regularly practiced to proceed on the path towards Samadhi.

Let’s take a closer look at the first limb, the ‘Yamas’. The five Yamas together with the five Niyamas form the firm foundation of the eightfold path. The Yamas are ethical considerations; or suggested social rules of living. Following these suggestions will enable you to move forward on the path easier, and perhaps a bit faster as well. By no means are they meant as rigid rules without which liberation will not occur. Just pick the ones that resonate with you and see if you can start to implement them in your daily life. According to Patanjali, these great vows are universal and not limited by class, place, time or circumstance. So why not give them a try?

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About OM Yoga Magazine

Welcome to the May issue of OM Yoga & Lifestyle magazine. Inside, we’ve got oodles of inspiration for everybody. There’s a profile on Robin Watkins-Davis, an amazing 19-year-old and one of the UK’s youngest teachers, who’s taking yoga to a whole new generation of teens and children. There’s an article too on why more teenagers are loving yoga during this high-stress age of social media, expectation and peer pressure. Separately, we’ve also got tales from students facing up to cancer with yoga, with insight from their teachers too. Plus a new retreat that’s specifically geared for younger women during active breast cancer treatment. In addition, you’ll also find some wonderful yoga tips to help get you ready for the summer months and to sharpen up your practice on the mat. So put the kettle on, make a nice cup of tea and sit back and relax for a bit with this month’s issue. It’s time for OM.